Prayer Focus: Bangladesh

Bible Reading: Numbers 25-28

Scripture

Moses said to the Lord, “May the Lord, the God who gives breath to all living things, appoint someone over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.” (Numbers 27:15-17)

Observation

God has just told Moses that he can see the Promised Land, but he won’t be allowed to enter it.  The scripture I’ve pulled above is his final request, a new shepherd to be appointed to govern the people.

As I read this verse, other verses immediately came to mind.  After all, the bible is replete with sheep and shepherd metaphors in the bible.  Use a concordance or run a search in any bible program and you’ll see what I mean.  I’ve pulled only a few to use as example.

John 10:2 “he that enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.”

John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd, I know my sheep, and my sheep know me.”  

Ezekiel 34:16b  “I will shepherd the flock with justice.”

1st Peter 2:25 “For you were like sheep going astray”, But now you have returned to the Shepherd and overseer of your souls.”

John 10:16 “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.  I must bring them also.  They too will hear my voice and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”

Oh, and don’t forget the oft quoted 23rd Psalm.

That exact phrasing “Like sheep without a shepherd” is used in the old testament. You can find them in Numbers 27:17, Isaiah 13:14, 2nd Chronicles 18:16 and it’s usually used to describe people who are disorganized with no master;  people who have gone their own way.

The last scripture that I want to draw attention to though is one where Jesus uses the same phrase Moses did.  It’s found here in Matthew 9:36 “When he saw the crowds he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”  Mark 6:34 in his accounting of this same passage continues it by going on to say, “so he began teaching them many things.”

Application

Where are you on your journey?  Where would you place yourself in this metaphor that Moses, several Old Testament authors, and Jesus paint?  Are you feeling harassed or helpless?  Do you long to have someone care for you, beat away the lions and wolves and give you a place to belong?

I invite you to come to Him.  He’s not afraid of your questions or doubts and He will not turn you away.  But you must be willing to leave your own ways, and learn His ways.

Prayer

Thank you, Daddy, for not leaving me harassed and helpless.  Thank you for making a way for me to come to you, …to belong.  I pray for those who might read this journal who do not know you. I pray that you would give them courage to come to you with their questions and their doubts.  I pray that you would give them courage to abandon their own way, and chose you.

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